Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Rathmines is a suburb on the southside of Dublin.
Rathmines is a town about 3 kilometres south of the city centre of Dublin City, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. It effectively begins at the south side of the Grand Canal and stretches along the Rathmines Road as far as Rathgar to the south, Ranelagh to the east and Harold's Cross to the west. Rathmines is the centre of a large area of south Dublin encompassing these areas as far as Rathmines takes its name from the Irish Rath Maonais, or in English, Maones' (sometimes Maoghnes) Fort. Like many of the surrounding areas, it arose from a fortified structure (a Rath)which would have been the centre of civic and commercial activity from the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. Rathgar, Baggotrath and Rathfarnham are further examples of this to be found in Dublin.
Rathmines has a long history stretching back to the 14th century. At this time, Rathmines and surrounding hinterland were part of the ecclesiastical lands called Cuallu or Cuallan. This is reflected in the name of a nearby area called Cullenswood. Cuallu is mentioned in local surveys from 1326 as part of the farm of St Sepulchre. There is some evidence of an established settlement around a Rath as far back as 1350.
In more recent times, Rathmines is a popular suburb of Dublin City attracting the wealthy and powerful seeking refuge from the poor living conditions of the city from the middle of the 19th century. Rathmines sits on a site over looking the city and is a portal to the hills to the south and west of Dublin. The area is characterised by a long main street from the canal bridge to the town hall. Rathmines is the central urban area of south west Dublin comprising as far west as Kimmage and as far east as Donnybrook and is served well by public transport.
Rathmines has thriving commercial and civil activity and would be known across Ireland as part of a traditionally known "flatland" - proividing cheap accommodation to the civil servants and third level students coming from outside the city from the 1930s to the 1990s. In more recent times, Rathmines has diversified its housing stock and many houses have been gentrified by the wealthier benefactors of the boom of the 1990s. Rathmines persists as a diverse area nonetheless and has always been home to groups of new immigrant communities and indigenous ethnic minorities.
Rathmines was originally part of the Barony of Uppercross, one of the many baronies surrounding the old city of Dublin, bound as it was by walls, some of which are still visible. This area was the property of the established church in Ireland from the English reformation right until the Restoration of the English crown in the 17th century. Arguably, Rathmines is best known historically for a bloody battle that took place there in 1649, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, leading to the death of perhaps up to 5,000 people. The battle of Rathmines took place on August 2 1649 and led to the routing of Royalist forces in Ireland shortly after this time. Some have compared the Battle of Rathmines - or sometimes Baggotrath - as equal in political importance to England's Battle of Naseby.
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